The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) is an annual report designed to assess competitiveness pillars of economies around the world, with the aim of influencing policy decisions and economic development strategy for those countries.
The GCR Financial System Pillar includes a measure of the banking industry. The South African banking industry, measured by the category “Soundness of banks”, had enjoyed a top ten ranking since 2009/2010, however, the GCR for 2017/2018 moved our ranking from number 2 to 37 and for 2018 from 37 to 62, a dramatic weakening of one of South Africa’s strongest performers.
The decline challenged official banking measures and the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services (COEFS) began researching the possible contributing factors to this significant drop in ranking. COEFS engaged the WEF team, and the partnering institutions for South Africa, to investigate the reason behind this noticeable change.